Miruna no Zashiki

Miruna no Zashiki

Miruna no Zashiki (The Forbidden Room) also known by the name of Uguisu no Ichimon (The Nightingale’s Coin) is a folktale from Japan.

The story goes that there was once a man who needed shelter for the night. Finding an isolated house on a mountain he asks the owner, a young beautiful woman if he could stay. The young woman agrees to this and then asks him to look after house for her until she returns. The only condition is that the man is not to go into the room with the locked door. He agrees and the woman leaves, returning one year later.

She finally returns to find the door has remained closed and so in thanks she rewards him with a roll of cloth and a small coin (mon). The man later finds out the coin is supernatural in origin and never runs out as it continues to duplicate itself. The mans neighbour after learning of this wishes for the same coin and ventures to the house.

The woman there gives him the same offer, to look after the house and not enter the room with the closed door while she is gone. He also agrees and so the woman leaves. However, curiosity gets the better of the man and he opens the door. Upon opening the door a hoard of demons is said to have flooded out and overwhelmed the man with their troubles.1

Footnotes

1. Louis Frederic, translated by Kathe Roth (2002) “Japan Encyclopedia”. London: Harvard University Press.

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Miruna no Zashiki